The Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade, has expressed displeasure over the continued inability of the state to access the UN-REDD funds in spite of its bold efforts in forest conservation.
Governor Ayade told the Chief Technical Adviser to Nigeria on UN REDD, Mr. Allen Turner, who paid him a courtesy call in his office that the state needed the agency’s inputs and advice on how to succeed on REDD+ because the state is ready to provide funds for the world to see it is doing its best in that regards.
“Of all of these efforts we are putting in forest conservation, we are still at the backdoor when it comes to accessing funding, so it comes as a real shock to me that Brazil will be getting $1 million. Cross River should be encouraged with the men and materials as well as the roadmap to enable it show that it is committed to the programme.
“I can imagine the effort that we are putting with over 600,000 hectares of forest as a state. It is disturbing because we are forestdependent; we are starting a Green Police. We are putting in place so much to sustain the forest. We are starting a Green Festival and it has never happened before.”
According to him, “Africa has continued to bear the brunt of climate change in spite of the fact that her contribution has been minimal. Africa remains that little young child that is helpless, bearing the brunt of climate change in spite of the fact that they are not the major contributors”, the governor lamented.
As part of effort to document its activities on climate change, Ayade, called on UN-REDD+ programme to establish a desk office in the state as a leading state not only in but in the whole of Africa.
The governor disclosed that the carnival which will be held during the 32-day Calabar Festival, is in the spirit of REDD with about 10,000 people carrying young plants, dressed in green which depicts a brand new forest of 10,000 trees and those who plant them will be encouraged to come back the following year to see they have grown after one year.
Ayade averred that the only way the programme could succeed in the country is for REDD+ to establish an office in the state as it is prepared to sponsor a workshop, which will drat its framework as operational guideline for it to succeed.
-Edem Edem, Calabar